Photo Credit: Olivier Fitousi/Flash90
MK Amichai Chikli at the Knesset plenum, April 5, 2021.

The Knesset Committee officially declared MK Amichai Chikli a defector MK, ousting him from his Yamina party, following the request to do so by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

By declaring Chikli a defector, he cannot join another party in this Knesset, but more significantly, he would be barred from running with any current Knesset party in the next election. He can possibly avoid that fate if he quits the Knesset now, but in that case, he would be replaced by the next candidate on Yamina’s list, which in this case is a former Avigdor Liberman loyalist.

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Seven Knesset members supported the decision, all coalition members:
Acting Committee Chairman MK Eitan Ginzburg (Blue and White) in favor.
MK Boaz Toporovsky (Yesh Atid) in favor.
MK Yevgeny Soba (Yisrael Beiteinu) in favor.
MK Ram Shefa (Labor) in favor.
MK Moshe Tor Paz (Yesh Atid) in favor. (Replaced MK Meirav Ben Ari)
MK Shirley Pinto Kadosh (Yamina) in favor. (Replaced MK Nir Orbach)
MK Benny Begin (New Hope) in favor. (Replaced MK Sharon Haskel)

MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint List), MK Yitzhak Ze’ev Pindros (UTJ), and MK Idit Silman (Yamina) were not present at the vote.

MK Walid Taha (Ra’am) did not participate in the discussion at all.

According to a Srugim report, the Likud informed Chikli they would offer him a ministerial position in the next government, which does not require that he be an MK.

Chikli defended his actions by arguing that Bennet and his allies betrayed their voters, and the damage they did to Israel’s democracy would take a long time to repair.

The debate was raucous and numerous MKs were expelled from the room during the hearing.

Chikli plans to appeal the decision in court.

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